Staff Report | Lloyd Green Jr.
On December 1, 2011, the Williams Fire Department took delivery of a new 2011 Ferrara Fire Apparatus Heavy Rescue unit after three years of successful fundraising. The new Heavy Rescue unit was dedicated in memory of the late Latch Chandar.
Chandar was an exempt firefighter from Williams whom died of a heart attack at an early age.
In 2009 the Williams Fire Department recognized the need for a Heavy Rescue unit as the department responds to over 600 incidents yearly with over 15% of the incident being traffic related involving Interstate 5 and Highway 20.
The department currently has a light rescue unit, a 2000 Ford F-550, that had become over loaded with weight from the assorted equipment on-board and was in the need of replacement. The Heavy Rescue Vehicle will provide adequate replacement.
The Heavy Rescue unit will provide specialized equipment necessary for technical rescue situations such as auto accidents requiring vehicle extrication, building collapses, confined space rescue, rope rescues and swift water rescues. The vehicle can carry an array of special equipment such as the Jaws of life, wooden cribbing, generators, winches, hi-lift jacks, cranes, cutting torches, circular saws and other forms of heavy equipment unavailable on standard trucks. This capability differentiates them from traditional pumper trucks or ladder trucks designed primarily to carry firefighters and their entry gear as well as onboard water tanks, hoses and equipment for fire extinguishing and light rescue.
The Williams Fire Department is the only agency in Colusa County to own a Heavy Rescue unit and will provide mutual aid to departments in Colusa County, Lake County, and Yolo County. It is equipped with a 25KW generator 6000 watt light tower, shade awning and will seat 6 firefighters
“There has been some creative ideas put together to finally fund this project.” Said Williams Fire Chief Jeff Gilbert.
The Heavy Rescue unit was purchased with funding from a $175,000, 3-year grant from the Colusa Casino; a $50,000 donation from the Cache Creek Casino Community Fund; a $50,000 grant from the United State Department of Agriculture Facilities Grant; $50,000 from the sale of the current Light Rescue Ford F-550 vehicle; and $10,000 from the Williams Volunteer Firefighters Association in Memory of Latch Chandar.
The Chandar Family haven’t forgotten their son, with contributions totaling in an excess of $55K over the last 10 years from a benefit golf tournament. Funds raised from the tournament were donated to the Williams Volunteer Firefighters Association to purchase needed apparatus and equipment in Latches name; in addition the family established a scholarship in his name.
The rescue was rededicated to Latch Chandars memory at the December 19th 2011 volunteer firefighters association dinner.